Translate Culture to Bottom Line Profit – Panel Discussion

When it comes to “company culture”, do you walk the talk or just talk it? And what does “great culture” mean to you? Ping Pong tables, beverage and snack areas…what does it look like? In this panel discussion our panelists will share how they went beyond just talking about culture and created a true company-wide shared belief and value system that reshaped how they work and one that continues to drive results. They will talk about how they got started, the steps (and missteps) they took and how they connect it to bottom line business results.


Todd McDonaldTodd V. McDonald, PHR, President | ATW Training Solutions Todd McDonald has been a community and business leader for over 30 years. From 1989-1998 McDonald served as Vice-President of Research, Marketing and Sales for American Media, Inc., ultimately becoming Executive Vice President from 1995-1998. In 1998, McDonald founded his own training and development firm, ATW Training Solutions, Inc. ATW provides tailored training solutions to clients on a local, national and international basis. Todd is also owner of New Horizons Computer Learning Center of Des Moines. Thought of as being results-oriented, some of McDonald’s other accomplishments include: • Developing and delivering training programs and speeches to audiences throughout the world on topics such as teamwork, customer service, change management, communication, time utilization, and leadership. • Assisting organizations in development of strategic initiatives and plans in industries such as banking, finance, manufacturing, insurance, hospitality and education. • Authoring two books: one on communication between managers and their employees, “I Wish You Would Just…” and the other on time management, “How to Find 100 Extra Minutes a Day.” • Assisting in the development of the training and development profession through volunteering on ATD committees on a local and national basis. He has been a National Advisor for Chapters for ATD, served on two International Conference planning committees and was named Volunteer of Year on a national level. Currently McDonald serves on the Board of Directors for the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, Iowa Entrepreneurs Association, Waukee Betterment Foundation and Urbandale Chamber of Commerce. He is also on the Advisory Committee of the Ken Blanchard Companies. Mike Brinker - Central Iowa Business ConferenceMike Brinker, CPA, Partner| McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith Mike works on tax planning and compliance for closely held businesses and their owners. Mike especially works with tax specialty services and engagements, client concentrations in real estate and agribusiness. Mike is originally from Harlan, Iowa and received his Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern Missouri State University. To stay involved with his community, he is active in the Knights of Columbus, Saint Francis of Assisi Church and School, and Z3 Youth and Junior Triathlon Team. Mike enjoys biking and spending time with his family and friends.   Heather FlemingHeather Fleming, Health, Wellness & Safety Manager | Van Meter Inc. Heather is fortunate to be in a role where she gets to do what she loves every day:  helping people to be their personal best.  In her role as a leader on the Organizational Effectiveness team at Van Meter Inc., she has the pleasure of working with her 520 fellow employees across 15 locations in Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska to provide leadership, guidance and opportunities to support others in their quest to achieve total well-being.  She also enjoys the opportunity to help shape the company’s purpose and culture which is focused on creating lasting value and five core values of people, partners, progress, place and profit.  Her unwavering commitment to her fellow employee owners and passion for her company shines through in all that she does. Prior to coming to Van Meter, Heather earned her Juris Doctorate from Drake Law School and practiced law in the private practice sector, primarily in insurance defense.  She learned a great deal during her years as a practicing attorney and that experience helped position her to be a successful business professional. She is also enthusiastic about giving back to the community that provided so much to her while growing up. Heather currently impacts the community through volunteering with many organizations:  National Council on Youth Leadership, March of Dimes, Metro North Rotary (Past President), Salvation Army, Junior Achievement and the Iowa State Bar Association.  She is also a 2009 graduate of Leadership for Five Seasons, led Van Meter’s Charitable Giving Committee for nearly 10 years and most recently served the City of Cedar Rapids on the Wellbeing Advisory Council and the Economic Alliance Community Development Council.  She enjoys challenging physical activity and playing competitive tennis at a national level with her husband, BJ.  The most important time she spends is with her husband and their three children:  9-year old Gabi and 4-year old twins Payton and Mack.  Jeff RussellJeff Russell, President and CEO | Delta Dental of Iowa Jeff Russell is the president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa. With more than 20 years of experience in senior leadership roles, he has led companies of a variety of sizes—from start-ups to established companies embarking on transformation efforts. In addition, Mr. Russell is the president and director for the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation and president and CEO of Veratrus Benefit Solutions, Inc., a wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary of DDIA. He is a member of the Delta Dental Plans Association Board of Directors and also serves on their Compliance Committee and acts as co-chair of their eBusiness and Technology Committee.   Pat GearyPat Geary, Chief Operating Officer| Story Construction Pat is responsible for the daily operations of the company. He leads the project management team as well as provides oversight of Story’s field labor and equipment resources. Pat is a graduate of Iowa State University’s Construction Engineering program and has more than 20 years of experience with Story Construction.